And On the Next Day

In Christianity on June 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

Luke 9:37 has been part of my life for three decades. Too often I am forced to return to this verse because it describes my Christian experience: rejoicing one day on the mountaintop, as if a witness to the transfiguration of our Lord (Luke 9:28-36). And on the next day, we find ourselves back in the valley again, powerless (Luke 9:37-43).

A man in a crowd sought out our Lord and said, “Teacher, I beg you, look at my son . . . a spirit seizes him . . . I begged your disciples to cast it out but they could not” (Luke 9:40).

What demon have you and I failed to cast out of our own lives today? What has seized us? Convulsed us? Released us with difficulty, wearing us out? Left us powerless?

You know your sins, as I know mine. Yet we are not left as orphans (John 14:18). We have a sacramental understanding of Christianity, which is fundamentally different from the world, and from our separated brothers and sisters in Christ.

Christ’s miracles passed over into the Sacraments. The Catechism states, “The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God” (CCC 1129). Isn’t healing and transformation what we desire, when we experience the powerlessness of Romans 7 (“I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want”)?

Seek grace through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. The Sacraments are not mere symbols. They do something; they convey grace! They heal and transform (CCC 1129). Why, then, ever delay confession?

The judgment of conscience remains a pledge of hope and mercy. In attesting to the fault committed, it calls to mind the forgiveness that must be asked, the good that must still be practiced, and the virtue that must be constantly cultivated with the grace of God. (CCC 1781)

Jesus Christ, the Door of the confessional, is our door of hope.”¹

¹ Fr. Jay Scott Newman, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Greenville, SC

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